Meetup Group Sushi & Spicy Delivers Good Food With a Side of New Friendship
Aug 29, 2014 08:18AM
● By Brian Ostrovsky
You might think there'd be no way this article could have been written with a subject who runs 7 Meetup.com groups but Brad Beckham made time to share a little about the 2014 Sushi & Spicy / DFW Sushi Group. We plan to explore other groups he's involved with in future articles.
How did the Sushi & Spicy group get started?
Several of us started the group way back around Christmas 2003 on a web site named Friendzy based out of Dallas. We met at several hot spots each month, and every single Thursday at 7pm for over 2 years at a place called Kampai on Addison Circle. At first, everyone would just eat, drink, chat and leave. However, as early as the next year we were closing the place down, and sitting on the patio with lots of free sake that the owners would leave us with after they went home. Often, until after midnight or where we'd sometimes go to musical venues.
Do things get repetitive with a group dedicated to sushi? How do you spice things up?
Lunch and Dinner are two different aspects with differing audiences. Birthdays and holidays also come into play, no doubt. Yet, the theme is always Sushi. It's always amazed me how many avid fans of it there are. While also, so many that have become somewhat experts and soul mates to the point of obsession about it.
Many outsiders seem to think that sushi per se is just not for them. Surely an opinion that they developed as children. They tend to think that this sushi is somehow tainted. However, that is just not true with new health codes and methods of preparation that fly it in frozen at 30 degrees below zero. They also think it's bad tasting without trying it or the many options and combinations of sauces involved. Price is another aspect, while I can show them several all-you-can-eat spots each at under $10 per evening.
Is it about the food or about the people?
Both, depending on the evening of course. Plus, the friendships made due to a common interest that generally evolves into meet people with numerous interests in common. At it's best, we have also developed several traditions that became as big as the events themselves. Eating at Festivals has also been a big draw for us.
It seems a group dedicated to sushi might have a few interesting customs...
We used to have a tradition of everyone downing uni shooters to prove their commitment to Sushi. Sometimes the biggest aficionados would become the most squeamish. Another strange one was when the owner brought out a bug zapper for the men to test their nerves on. Plus even a bowl full of live baby crabs to later eat; big TVs for our private Sushi Bowl watching party; or even Sushi Poker. Later, we even took 5 of us to work hurricanes in Florida. While several of us got our photo put on the front page of the Fort Worth Star Telegram eating sushi.
How have things changed in the group and what's new?
Well with a ten year plus resume, I can tell you that Sushi group has always been in evolution. Business Lunches and Karaoke/Sushi combo events are just two of the things we've really moved into. There is no doubt here that more support beyond Meetup could make this (and a few connected groups) a real sensation. Expect something big once you join or if you've just been waiting for more to be going on here.
How can people get involved?
http://www.meetup.com/DFWSushi/ is the main link. It is free to join and we always appreciate folks who want to step up to suggest and then help host events. We are always also up for ideas on growing the group and spreading the joy. Right now, there really aren't many rules. Well... other than try to play nice, be fun and enjoy the Sushi.